The Jordanian-Egyptian VP of CNN Arabic Services has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to media in the Arab region, paving the way for other women in her field.
The Arab Woman Awards, a prestigious annual ceremony in the United Arab Emirates, has recognised Jordanian-Egyptian VP of CNN Arabic Services, Caroline Faraj, for her contribution to media. The award is given to women who are pioneers in their field, paving the way for other women in the region to thrive both at work and throughout society.
"According to the World Bank there are 345.5 million people in the Middle East and North Africa region, and 49.7% of those are women. Many of those women face barriers in their lives, whether in their careers, their lifestyles, or their political representation," Caroline Faraj tells CairoScene. "These awards are something I personally have always found enormously inspiring because they represent what is possible for Arab women. For me to be included alongside some of the truly remarkable women on this list is an enormous honour, and I am completely humbled to be in their company."
Born in Amman, Jordan, Faraj's 30-year career has seen her take on the roles of a senior political reporter for Al Rai, the leading Arabic newspaper in Jordan, a managing editor for the Jordan Times, an English-language newspaper, and regional correspondent for US Defense News. She has also worked extensively for television, creating and hosting Jordan's first morning talk show Youm Jadid, and contributing to Dubai TV and Bahrain TV.
It was in 2001 when Faraj joined CNN, where she launched its Arabic language website in 2002. Based in Dubai, she had overseen CNN Arabic through some of the most transformative events of the region, including the US-led invasion of Iraq, and the social upheaval that came with the Arab Spring.
"Being part of an organization like CNN puts us in a position of great responsibility, and I am enormously proud of the way that we have covered some of the most difficult stories for our diverse audiences," Faraj says. "This award is a welcome recognition of what we have achieved, and continue to achieve, through dedication, determination, and hard work. I know it’s a cliché for anyone receiving an award to thank the team behind them, but for me this truly is an award for my team, not just me."
As far as the Arab Woman Awards are concerned, Faraj sees it less as a representation of her own achievements, as it is an example of the opportunities that are now available to Arab women. "There are so many examples of Arab women who have forged successful careers in the media, so hopefully some of those doors that might previously have been closed are now open. It’s up to you to walk through them. Don’t be afraid to take a chance, otherwise you will never know what might have happened."
The 2021 edition of the Arab Woman Awards recognised over 20 women for their achievements across various fields, including Education, Business, and the Arts. The Lifetime Achievement award went to founding partner of Al Mawakeb Schools, Naziha Nasr, for her 40-year career as an educator, while the award for most inspiring female went to the UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, Reem Al Hashimy, for her role as director general of Expo 2020 Dubai.